We headed for Lesotho with enthusiasm and we stayed in a village just north of Maseru. The best way to visit a different country is to live in it… we only had a week and we lived well. Somehow when you go somewhere, even if it is only a two day drive away, it can feel like a visit on the far side of the moon. The differences between home and life in a Lesotho village very quickly became apparent. It was a wonderful experience for all of us, made so much better by the incredibly friendly and loving people that live in the village we stayed in.
- At home we live half way up a mountain with a view of the sea. In Lesotho we lived halfway up a mountain with a view of forever.
- At home we live in a suburb: In Lesotho we lived in a village.
- At home our houses are made of brick: In Lesotho houses are made from corrugated iron…
- At home we have tiles on the roof: In Lesotho they have rocks – I am guessing it gets really windy there.
- At home all houses have a bathroom: In Lesotho all houses have an outhouse.
- At home all toilets need flushing: In Lesotho – not so much!!!
- At home all houses have a shower or a bath: In Lesotho all houses have a basin and a washcloth. And you send the children to get water from the nearest tap in the morning.
- At home we wash dishes in the sink or the dishwasher: In Lesotho, not so much!!! I am just glad we weren’t there in the heart of winter because it sure got cold out there at night!!!
- At home the kitchen has running water and electric outlets: In Lesotho there is a tap a few houses away to collect water or to do you laundry at. There are electric lights but outlets for appliances – not so much.
- At home we sweep the floor after every meal: In Lesotho you sweep all day and brooms are half the length of ours.
- At home we bake our bread in a bread machine: In Lesotho they bake bread in a wood oven, in the communal kitchen, which keeps you warm on cold nights.
- At home all our food comes smothered with packaging: In Lesotho every house has a little vegetable patch.
- At home we do most of our shopping in stores: In Lesotho, shops are more open air.
- At home we get our garbage collected once a week with a truck: In Lesotho I never even saw a dirt bin.
- At home we use blankets on cold winter nights: In Lesotho everyone seems to wear blankets, with regal grace, whatever the weather.
- At home if there are children milling about then there are usually adults near by to watch over them: In Lesotho there are lots of children everywhere and not nearly enough adults to go round.
- At home most kids we know are part of a family and eat a meal at least three times a day: In Lesotho many of the children are orphans, due to HIV/Aids, and in our village a feeding scheme provides them with one meal a day five days a week.
- At home all kids are in school during the week: In Lesotho lots of young boys roam the hills looking after their cows and goats.
- At home we do lots of laundry: In Lesotho it is just the same – pretty laundry bunting everywhere!!!
Stone is cut out of the hill side.
Hours of handwork go into these vegetable patches.
And there is an altogether different kind of packaging.
And Something that is totally the same as at home:
For all the similarities and all the differences of staying in a foreign culture, there was one huge difference between being at home and in Lesotho. For all the hard work of life and all the difficulties the kids are experiencing there… there was no grumbling or complaining ever, in fact there was joy and happiness and the friendliest most welcoming kids we have ever met.
We are privileged to have been invited to spend time with them.